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Presence and Peace

Presence and Peace

Presence and Peace

Up until last summer, Gavin and I both worked hard to keep him relaxed and happy on walks. He’s unbelievably sensitive and doesn’t handle ANY change well AT ALL—no matter how intricately I planned and managed his walk times. A helicopter flying overhead, a lawnmower starting, or a dog getting too close despite my asking (sometimes pleading) the human for more space would cause him to need decompression time.

But, lately, it’s been dreamy. I still reward Gavin, give him space from random dogs, and sit with him in predictable spots because it helps him and reminds him that he can always trust me. But, our walks are less work, they’re easier, for both of us. And, the weather has been absolutely perfect for a Midwest summer, not too hot or humid.

Yet, I caught myself yesterday feeling stressed after our walk because the majority of the time, I was crunching numbers in my head for a couple of places I’m considering moving our kitchen. The move will help us be more efficient, productive, and in the long run, will be more cost-effective. But, in the short term will be expensive and a ton of work.

And, I thought, why would I rob myself of time I’ve worked hard to enjoy? Why would I miss these magical moments with my dog to think about something I really couldn’t finish until I sat in front of my computer again? Why is it so darn hard for us humans to allow ourselves to just be in the moment?  

So, today, on our walk, every time I thought of my to-do list or planning my day, I took a deep breath, and I let it go. Then I listened, really listened, to the birds chirping, the leaves rustling in the breeze. Even the distant highway noises had a meditative quality to them.

When Gavin stopped to sniff (as he frequently does), I didn’t check my phone. I wondered, with curiosity, what he smelled. Then I felt a smile naturally grace my face as he trotted a little faster to catch up with a walker that we often pass. I was happier after our walk, and because I felt refreshed, I was much more productive. I don’t want to miss my time with my dog, precious time looking at his face, sharing his delight, and feeling the connection that we’ve built together over the years. 

So, I hope my setback in finding more peace helps revive yours. May you be in the moment the next time you play with your dog. May you laugh when your dog does something silly, mischievous, or looks at you with the cutest derpy face. And, may you feel the love you share, whether it’s new and budding or whether it’s a bond that you’ve treasured for years. 

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